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Ex-MLB pitcher Odalis Pérez, 44, found dead at Dominican Republic home after 'falling off ladder'

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Former MLB pitcher Odalis Pérez, 44, found dead at his Dominican Republic home after ‘falling off a ladder and suffering a heart attack’

  • Former major leaguer Odalis Pérez died Thursday at his home in the Dominican Republic after he reportedly suffered a heart attack and fell off a stair
  • He was allegedly found lying on the patio of his Santo Domingo residence by worried neighbors who had not seen him all day 
  • The 43-year-old pitched 10 years in the majors with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals and Washington Nationals
  • He had not pitched in the majors since the 2008 season, when he declined a one-year offer from the Nationals
  • Pérez, who made his lone All-Star game appearance in 2006 with the Dodgers,  had a 72-82 record in 252 appearances, including 211 starts

Former MLB pitcher Odalis Pérez has died the age of 44 after suffering a fall at his home in the Dominican Republic on Thursday. 

Pérez allegedly fell from a ladder and was found on the patio of his Santo Domingo home by neighbors, who were concerned that they had not seen him all day, newspaper Diario Libre reported. 

Erick Almonte, who also played in the majors and is now the president of the Dominican Federation of Professional Baseball Players, told the outlet that Pérez has suffered a heart attack while he was on the ladder.

An autopsy report is still pending.

Pérez had a 72-82 record in 252 appearances, including 211 starts during his 10-year career. 

Former major leaguer Odalis Pérez died Thursday at his home in the Domincan Republic after he reportedly suffered a heart attack and fell off a ladder

Former major leaguer Odalis Pérez died Thursday at his home in the Domincan Republic after he reportedly suffered a heart attack and fell off a ladder

Odalis Pérez pitched started the first game in Nationals Park history for the Washington Nationals

Odalis Pérez pitched started the first game in Nationals Park history for the Washington Nationals

Neighbors surround the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic home of Odalis Pérez after he was found dead Thursday evening

Neighbors surround the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic home of Odalis Pérez after he was found dead Thursday evening

He made his Major League Baseball debut at the age of 20 with the Atlanta Braves in September 1998.

The lefty became the first pitcher in MLB history to earn his first career win in the postseason against the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the 1998 National League Division Series.  

Pérez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in January 2002 for Gary Sheffield.

He was selected to his first and only All-Star game in his first season with the Dodgers.

‘Deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Odalis Perez at just 44, a fun guy & heck of a pitcher,’ former Dodgers general manager Dan Evans tweeted. ‘Enjoyed getting to know him when we were (with the) @Dodgers together after someone traded for him.’

In 2006, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals before the trade July 31 deadline and became a free agent following the 2007 season.

Pérez signed with the Washington Nationals ahead of the 2008 season and started the first ever game at Nationals Park.

The lefty broke into the majors with the Atlanta Braves in 1998

The lefty broke into the majors with the Atlanta Braves in 1998

Odalis Pérez made his lone All-Star game appearance as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002

Odalis Pérez made his lone All-Star game appearance as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002

Former Dodgers Dan Evans traded for the late Odalis Pérez prior to the 2002 season

Former Dodgers Dan Evans traded for the late Odalis Pérez prior to the 2002 season

Following the season, the veteran pitcher declined a one-year offer from the Nationals. He deemed the incentive-laden offer an insult and never pitched again in the majors.   

Baseball Hall of Fame president Josh Rawitch, who was a member of the Dodgers communications staff during Pérez’s time with the team, lamented his friend’s sudden passing. 

‘Another joyous ballplayer gone too soon. Odalis Pérez was always kind to me, as we were close in age coming up at the Dodgers,’ Rawitch tweeted. ‘I randomly ran into him at this restaurant in the DR in 2013 and never thought it would be the last time I’d see him. Prayers to his family and friends.’ 

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